While we still wait for the Congressional Budget Office to announce the cost of the proposed bill, we are thrilled to report that sponsors of the pending legislation have added recently departed Detective Luis Alvarez and Firefighter Ray Pfeifer, deceased, to the name of the pending bill that would permanently extend and fully fund the Victim Compensation Fund.
Since September 2001, Barasch & McGarry has fought to make sure that the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund rules were changed to take care of responders who were sickened by the WTC Toxins. (The original rules mandated that claimants had to seek medical attention within 72 hours).
Starting in 2010 and again in 2015, we proudly walked the halls of Congress with union leaders and 9/11 advocates like John Feal and his tremendous team, to help pass and then extend the James Zadroga Health & Compensation Act. We are honored to have represented NYPD Detective James Zadroga, for whom the bill was named.
For the past 8 months, we have joined forces with 9/11 advocates such as Jon Stewart and Lila Nordstrom, the dedicated FealGood Foundation volunteers, and union leaders and members, once again advocating on behalf of the thousands of responders, downtown residents, office workers, students and teachers in the 9/11 community who continue to get sick and die from the deadly WTC toxins.
We have humbly marched the halls of Congress with brave people like our client FDNY’s Ray Pfeifer and NYPD’s Detective Luis Alvarez. Ray and Luis joined us at dozens of meetings with Representatives and Senators (in their last months, weeks and days), explaining why the VCF had to be permanently extended – not for themselves, but for thousands of others who would benefit long after they each passed away.
We are thrilled to hear that their selflessness is being recognized. The names “Pfeifer” and “Alvarez” will rightfully have the distinct honor of joining the name “Zadroga” on this long overdue and honorable legislation. As John Feal so eloquently stated, “Ray and Lou will join Jimmy on the Mount Rushmore of those who were instrumental in ensuring we passed legislation for the tens of thousands who continue to suffer everyday from that horrific Tuesday morning”.
Ray and Luis represent thousands of others who have passed as a result of 9/11 illnesses, as well as thousands of others who will tragically join them in the future. Their names and legacies will live in perpetuity as the very foundation of the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”
Barasch & McGarry is proud of the role that we have played to support this endeavor. We pray that Congress passes this law without delay.
We will not stop fighting until Congress does the right thing and permanently extends the VCF.